Burberry’s Planet-Conscious Cashmere Project
The Burberry Foundation has set up a program to ensure that cashmere is sustainably produced. Here's a peek into Burberry's sustainability efforts.
Some fashion brands have had a bad rep over environmentally harmful practices. These practices range from burning excess product, sourcing unsustainable materials, and promoting fast fashion.
Burberry, for one, had found themselves in the spotlight for incinerating nearly $37million in “old” merchandise. But that was in 2018, and it has since appeared that the brand is taking steps in the right direction. Here’s a look at a project in sustainability that Burberry has recently undertaken
The Burberry Foundation
The Burberry Foundation — Burberry’s philanthropic arm — has set up a five-year program to ensure that cashmere is sustainably produced. This comes as part of the luxury brand’s mission to give back to society (as seen through their recent partnership with British footballer Marcus Rashford to help children living in poverty).
Based in Afghanistan, the cashmere initiative provides goat herders with training on sustainable farming, harvesting techniques, and animal welfare practices, helping them to achieve higher quality cashmere and, in turn, higher prices for the natural fiber.
How Does Help Protect The Environment
Photo by Jürgen Scheeff on Unsplash
Burberry is venturing to increase financial security for herders in Afghanistan. Projects like this are essential from an environmental perspective as there is an overstocking of pastures. Not necessarily due to cashmere, but there is a lot of different livestock that Afghan producers keep.
“We're seeking to promote the ideals of good pasture management, which should regenerate the pasture and sequester carbon over time.”
Explains Andrew Nobrega, global program director at PUR Projet, a bespoke project development company working on the initiative.
The goal of the luxury brand is to enable herders to achieve higher yields of cashmere from fewer goats. This will, in effect, help protect natural resources in the long-term.
While land degradation from cashmere production is not currently an issue in Afghanistan, Burberry’s project aims to be preemptive to prevent it from ever becoming one. The program offers training in regenerative farming techniques to farmers.
A Responsible Fashion Industry
Initiatives such as this are particularly important in an industry that has been notoriously negligent over environmental issues for years.
“[Brands] have to take responsibility and say we represent an industry that cares about climate change, social wellbeing, and equity.”